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Since you are not telling us what distro you want and there are so many of them, the best place to go in my opinion is http://distrowatch.com/. There ALL the distros are listed with download locations and everything.
I would advise, unless your willing to pay, to instead get the latest Versions of Fedora and CentOS. Fedora is a Desktop distribution that was originally developed directly by Red Hat themselves, however after Fedora 6 the distribution was released by Red Hat, it's still used as the testbed for RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux).
CentOS is based off of RHEL, it's basically RHEL with logos removed, as Red Hat charge for a Support contract with RHEL (you can install it for free but it's in such a minimal state it can barely do anything), CentOS is free and yes, it is legal too under the GNU license. CentOS would be a server distribution. RHEL releases are usually delayed for it's direct clones so the advantage of getting a RHEL support contract is primarily that you get support from Red Hat themselves, but also that you get all updates quickers. I'd personally only recommend it on very important and high-end servers like for example Dell Poweredge R710s where security is of the high importance, tho CentOS can still be used of course if security is not a major concern (like VPS hosts/Domain0 where all services but SSH are going to be closed anyways).
im basically looking for the latest red hat linux os that can enable me to learn linux basic and administration too.what do you recomend eric
You notice that in your thread title you indicate Red Hat Linux download, yet in the post you put free linux os? That's why I redirected you to the Distrowatch site, since Red Hat is not free. Any of the distro's suggested by evo2 and r3sistance will do, but you are not limited to them. There are a lot more distros that have a RedHat base, all depends of what you need and want. If going for both server and desktop than I'd go for CentOS too, although they have one disadvantage if used in a production environment. And that disadvantage is that they get the security patches late which might put you at risk for the period your waiting.
thank you for your assistance so far .I would want to know that before i install it on the servers themselves can i load on my laptop and desktop pc and teach myself on the two pcs
If your laptop and pc are a recent model with sufficient RAM and has the necessary diskspace then I don't see any problem in installing Linux on it to try out.
One warning, if you're starting out with Linux and have important stuff on your laptop, back it up. You wouldn't be the first one to make the wrong choice when installing Linux and as a result of that choice wipe your entire harddisk before installing.
That wasn't the clearest sentance, but yes, you can install CentOS on a laptop or a desktop PC to learn it before placing it on a server. There is a couple of methods that could be used to achieve this. However I would suggest Fedora, alot of methods and commands are similar between Fedora and CentOS so there is no real seperate learning curve seperating them or anything.
The most command method is a direct installation on the PC or Laptop, either using a single or dual boot configuration. A single boot configuration is the most simple with Linux being the only OS on the system, a dual boot is where you have two operating systems on a single system, this is more common for beginners or people that want Windows for Gaming and Linux for anything else. Personally I have a dual boot for Windows as General use and Linux as testbed/development side OS. If you go for the Dual Boot option you will need to free up hard drive space for the Linux installation, once that's done the installation itself is not a too difficult task, just use available space for the installation and keep to the simple and advised options at first. Package selection is the only real consideration left, Generally for a beginner a GUI is going to be a necessarity so installing KDE or Gnome is highly advised, also the base package if shown (it shouldn't be on more up to date versions), contains too many necessary and preferable optional tools to really ever turn off.
Alternative their is the Virtual Machine route under Windows, there are various tools that can achieve this, even some by Microsoft themselves... so I am not going to list every single one or go much into that route.
Also as per EricTRA's post, I would advise back-ups if possible, Shrinking a Windows partition can lead to corruption, also mistakes during installation are extremely difficult to reverse, and near on impossible for most general users. The VM option is safer in this respect.
Last edited by r3sistance; 11-15-2009 at 04:18 AM.
Reason: Back-ups always important.
for the CentOS ISOs, for CDs you require Disc 1 for a bare minimum installation, however it requires knowledge to get an installation down as such, the other CDs contain package images and it's not known until installation which additional discs you will need so generally you'd have to have them all.
if you can burn DVDs I would advise the DVD iso image, this has everything on a single DVD and thus you won't get into any problems with package images being on other discs.
It's like r3sistance said, convenient to have the DVD, since it contains all the packages. However, for a server I'd advise you to do a minimal install and only install what you really need after the basic install. This way you'll have a system tuned to your needs without having a lot of other stuff to monitor. The more you features you install on a server, the more you'll have to monitor, and the higher your security risk becomes.
32 bit or 64 bit is down to hardware and preference. We are currently still under a move from 32-bit to 64-bit systems. Generally most modern CPUs will support 64-bit and 64-bit can be more effecient and productive, however driver support for 64-bit systems is still not the best but it's better with Linux then say Windows. Overall unless your on a very high spec machine your not going to notice any real difference with CentOS... as there are still ways to get around some 32-bit memory limitations on high spec machines.
Last edited by r3sistance; 11-15-2009 at 04:36 AM.